Sydney Motorsport Park 9th & 10th of September.
by Riccardo Benvenuti
Superkarts NSW continued their season at the ARDC Masterblast with a relatively strong field. 16 Karts came out to qualify in perfect conditions, cool and sunny. Mark Robin set the fastest time to claim the front row from Aaron Cogger and Lee Vella. Laurie Fooks was 4th fastest, in the hope he would have a trouble-free round and not a repeat of the last one. Paul Campbell was 5th from Mark Vickers and Tony Moit. Brock Schafer was 8th, Stuart Robertson and Wayne Horswell rounded out the top 10. One driver that toured and splattered around with a noticeable misfire was Lauren Shand. Unfortunately, she qualified last in 18th place.
Race 1 commenced Saturday morning, all drivers made a clean start and negotiated the first couple of turns without any problems. Shands qualifying gremlins reappeared, she unfortunately put her hand to signal all the other drivers she was retiring. At the pointy end a group of 4 drivers formed that included Vella, Cogger, Campbell and Robin. Just behind them Fooks was having a lonely race in 5th position.
Just behind the leading bunch, battles started forming throughout the field. Moit was having a great tussle with Vickers, Dodge was dicing with Robertson, and Tinsley and Nathan Ashworth also had a great scrap. The quartet at the front became a trio, Campbell unfortunately retired on lap 4. The remaining leaders powered on with Robin and Cogger swapping positions as Vella watched in close quarters. In the end Robin won from Cogger and Vella. Fooks finished in a strong 4th position and Vickers got the better of Moit to finish 5th.
Race 2 started Saturday afternoon, 5 karts made an even start at the front: Vella, Campbell, Robin, Cogger and Fooks. They rounded turn 1 side by side and arrived at turn 2 all bunched up. As they turned left into 2, Campbell ran out of room to maneuver his Kart. He had two options, collide or spin the Kart to avoid the others, he chose the latter. His stalled kart spun and rolled off the track to retire.
The 3 top finishers from the previous race continued their dice and pulled away from Fooks. In the midfield Moit was having a five-way scrap with Robertson, Dos Santos, Dodge and Schafer. This group would race seconds apart throughout the race. Unfortunately, two more retirements occurred, Ashworth and again Shand. In the lead Robin diced with Cogger, Vella was on their tails being very patient. The 3 drivers finished less than 2 seconds apart. Robin was 1st, Cogger 2nd and Vella 3rd. Fooks had a much better meet finishing 4th. Vickers edged a hard charging Dos Santos to finish 5th.
Race 3 was held Sunday morning in similar conditions. It was a clean start for all. The unfortunate Lauren Shand put her hand up just after turn 3 and coasted downhill to retire again. The Top 3 drivers built a lead immediately pulling away from 4th position Fooks. A few laps later Robin retired robbing him of a top 3 position. Further Back in the field, Tinsley was having a great tussle with Ashworth. However, the battle of the race was between Vickers and Robertson.
This race became a race of attrition, Fooks was the next driver to retire while in the top 3. Towards the end the front runners were spread by a considerable margin. Vella eventually came on top, winning from Cogger. Vickers outgunned Robertson to claim 3rd. Moit rounded out the top 5.
Dodge was 6th from Horswell 7th. Schafer finished 8th from Tinsley and Nathan Ashworth. Pater Ashworth was the last running Kart in 11th.